229 F. 398 (6th Cir. 1915), 2627, Ventilated Cushion & Spring Co. v. D'Arcy

Docket Nº:2627.
Citation:229 F. 398
Case Date:December 07, 1915
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Page 398

229 F. 398 (6th Cir. 1915)




No. 2627.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

December 7, 1915

Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the Western District of Michigan; Clarence W. Sessions, Judge.

Suit in equity by the Ventilated Cushion & Spring Company against Frank P. D'Arcy. Decree for defendant, and complainant appeals. Affirmed.


The Stotts patent, No. 840,522, for a spring cushion for automobiles, cars, etc., is strictly limited by the prior art, which shows, in patents for beds and cushions, all of its elements, although not in precisely the same combination, and by the proceedings in the Patent Office, to the specific structure described, or its full equivalent. As so limited, held not infringed.

L. V. Moulton, of Grand Rapids, Mich., W. R. Rummler, of Chicago, Ill., and Cyrus W. Rice, of Grand Rapids, Mich., for appellant.

F. L. Chappell, of Kalamazoo, Mich., for appellee.

Before WARRINGTON, KNAPPEN, and DENISON, Circuit Judges.

WARRINGTON, Circuit Judge.

This is an appeal from the decree in an infringement suit in which the bill was dismissed. The patent in suit, No. 840,522, was issued to E. O. Stotts January 8, 1907, and through mesne assignments the appellant ultimately (August 8, 1907) succeeded to the title. The suit was commenced June 25, 1908, and the patent and all rights under it were acquired by the Jackson Spring Cushion Company April 16, 1913, when an order was entered authorizing the Jackson Company to prosecute the suit for its use in the name of the plaintiff. The pleadings are in form substantially the same as they usually are in patent cases, where issues of infringement and lack of invention through anticipation are joined.

The patent relates to spring structures. The main object of the patentee was to produce a structure which would be adapted particularly for cushions in seats of automobiles and other cars or carriages where the springs might be subjected to sudden and violent jarring. The exterior form of the structure comprises three sides of a quadrangle, a curved rear side, and the dimensions of an ordinary automobile cushion. The interior structure consists of two sets of spiral springs, one set being nearly twice the height of the other, and all are disposed in rows. According to the drawings and the exhibits in evidence, the long springs are each in the form of an hour-glass, and are disposed in four rows, running from front to rear, and parallel with the two straight sides of the structure; the upper and lower coils of the outside rows are each fastened to the adjacent parts of two border-frame wires which surround the structure, one being maintained in the plane of the top surface and the other in that of the bottom surface of the structure; the inner portions of such outside rows of coils are each fastened at the bottom to straight wires, called braces, disposed lengthwise along such rows, and extending from the front to a

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point near the curved rear side of the border-frame wire, which is maintained, as stated, at the bottom of the structure; and the outer portions of each of the lower coils of the two interior rows are fastened to straight wires (braces), which are disposed between such rows similarly to the other braces just mentioned. The short springs, which are each frusto-conical in shape, are disposed in three rows, occupying the spaces between the lower coils, and also portions of the spaces embraced within such coils, of the adjacent long springs. The short springs are all fastened at their lower and upper coils, the former to the lower coils of the adjacent long springs, and the latter to connecting wires disposed upon the upper coils.

We have thus attempted to describe a model (an exhibit) of plaintiff's spring structure, called 'Rough Rider,' which, it will be seen, differs somewhat from the structure illustrated by the drawings accompanying the specification; still these drawings will serve to illustrate both of such structures. The drawings follow:

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It is stated in the specification that Fig. 1 'is a top plan of a cushion spring constructed according to this invention. ' Fig. 2 is an end elevation, Fig. 3 a plan showing the structure of the bottom, and Figs. 4 and 5 forms of attaching-clip designed to connect the adjacent wires. The numerals indicate: 1, the long springs; 2, the short springs; 3, a metal wrapping to fasten the bases of adjacent springs; 4, the lower border-frame wire; 5, wire-clip to fasten the base of each of the outer springs to the border-frame wire; 6, cross-wires, called a plurality of braces, which, with the wire-clip (7) to fasten such braces to the springs as shown in Fig. 3, are said to form a rigid base for the cushion; 8, the upper border-frame wire; 9, short helical springs connecting the top coils of the inner long springs as shown in Fig. 1; 10, a wire frame disposed along and fastened by clips (11) to the top coils of the short springs as shown in Figs. 1 and 2.

The specification in substance states that the long springs ordinarily support the weight upon the cushion, but in case of a jar these springs at times yield sufficiently to bring the weight of the passenger upon the short springs; some of the witnesses saying that the short springs

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are to prevent what is called 'grounding,' and the consequent discomforts, when traveling over a rough road. It is to be observed that the rough rider, above described, appears to be the plaintiff's preferred spring device; and that structure differs from the one shown in the drawings in these particulars; The braces are disposed perpendicularly to the front face...

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